Film & Stage Rating (March 16-22)

CINEMA RATINGS
***** EXCELLENT  ****VERY GOOD  *** GOOD  **AVERAGE  * POOR
Film ratings are by Billy Suter or from Internet Movie Data Base.  Theatre ratings are by Billy Suter.

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Note:  Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro and Suncoast CineCentre display adverts for KwaZulu-Natal cinemas appear at the end of this post.
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A scene from Goodbye Christopher Robin, starring Domnhall Gleeson, Margot Robbie and Kelly MacDonald.

FILMS NEW ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS – FROM MARCH 16

GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN ***
Director: Simon Curtis
Stars: Domnhall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly MacDonald

A behind-scenes look at the life of author A A Milne and the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his son.

RAID ***
Director: Raj Kumar Gupta
Stars: Ajay Devgn,  Saurabh Shukta,  Ileana D’Cruz

This Indian film, nased on truth, tells of a Amay Patnaik, a fearless income tax officer, who carries out a non-stop raid at the mansion of Tauji, the most powerful man in Lucknow.

TOMB RAIDER ***
Director: Roar Uthaug
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West. Walton Goggins

Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.

MEERKAT MAANTUIG **
Director: Hanneke Schutte
Stars: Anchen du Plessis, Rika Sennett, Pierre van Pletzen

An Afrikaans film about Gideonette, a timid and visionary girl, who lives with her parents in a small town. Her dad, Gideon, battles daily to allay her fears about the curse of the Gideon de La Reys. Throughout their family history every Gideon de La Rey died in a freak accident at a young age. When he suddenly dies, Gideonette’s worst fears are realised and she retreats into a dark world where her imagination runs wild.

MARROWBONE **
Director: Sergio G Sanchez
Stars: George MacKay, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton

A young man and his three younger siblings, who have kept secret the death of their beloved mother in order to remain together, are plagued by a sinister presence in the sprawling manor in which they live.

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Oscar-nominees Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water.

FILMS STILL ON CIRCUIT IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

THE SHAPE OF WATER ****
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Stars: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon

This year’s winner of Oscars for best picture, director, art direction and score. Showing locally only at Shelly Beach cinema complex, it is a beautifully told fantasy set in a secret research facility in the 1960s, where a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity. (BS)

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN ****
Director: Michael Gracey
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams

Still going strong in Durban after having opened in mid-December, this original musical is inspired by the imagination of PT Barnum. It celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. Sentimental but delightful. A must-see!

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI ****
Director: Martin McDonagh
Stars: Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson

A hard-hitting, superbly acted drama that is cleaning up at the awards ceremonies. The Oscar-winning drama tells of a no-nonsense mother who personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder when they fail to catch the culprit.

INXEBA (THE WOUND) ****
Director: John Trengove
Stars: Nakhane Toure, Bongile Mantsai, Niza Jay

The controversial South African drama about Xolani, a lonely factory worker, travels to the rural mountains with the men of his community to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood.

BLACK PANTHER ***
Director: Ryan Coogler
Stars: Chadwick Biseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o

An action-adventure in which T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

PHANTOM THREAD ***
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville, Vicky Krieps

Nominated for six Oscars, this is the story of Reynolds Woodcock who, in 1950’s London, is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who becomes his muse and lover.

GNOME ALONE ***
Director: Peter Lepeniotis
Stars: Becky G, Josh Peck, Tara Strong

When Chloe discovers her new home’s garden gnomes are not what they seem, she must decide between the pursuit of a desired high school life and taking up the fight against the Troggs. An animated movie.

RED SPARROW ***
Director: Francis Lawrence
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts

A thriller in which ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to ‘Sparrow School’, a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission: targeting a CIA agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

GAME NIGHT ***
Director: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Stars:  Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler

A crime-comedy in which a group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves trying to solve a murder mystery.

THE ROAR ***
Director:  Frans Cronje
Stars: Greg Kriek, Eugene Khumbanyiwa, D David Morin

A South African drama about a singer-actress, Louise, who wants to consider a career as Broadway actress. However, her father, a South African game ranger stuck in the past, wants her to settle in the African bushveld, marry his right-hand-man, André, and live nearby. This causes inner turmoil for Louise and tension builds between father and daughter. To make matters worse, a life-and-death situation arises when Louise, André and her father encounter a lethal band of game poachers.

L’ELISIR D’AMORE ****
Director: Bartlett Sher
Stars: Pretty Yende, Matthew Polenzani
The Met Opera presents soprano Pretty Yende and tenor Matthew Polenzaniin Donizetti’s charming comedy about two young lovers and the magic potion that may or may not bring them together. Screenings are at Cinema Nouveau cinemas (and Ster-Kinekor at Gateway, Umhlanga) at 6pm on Tuesday and 11.30am on Wednesday.

FINAL PORTRAIT ***
Director: Stanley Tucci
Stars: Armie Hammer, Clemence Poesy, Tony Shalhoub

The story of Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti.

CATCHING FEELINGS ***
Director: Kagiso Lediga
Stars: Kagiso Lediga, Pearl Thusi, Andrew Buckland

This dark South African romantic comedy follows an urbane young academic and his beautiful wife, as their lives get turned upside down when a celebrated and hedonistic older writer moves into their Johannesburg home with them.

DEATH WISH **
Director: Eli Roth
Stars: Bruce Wilklis, Vincetn D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue

Dr Paul Kersey is an experienced trauma surgeon, a man who has spent his life saving lives. After an attack on his family, Paul embarks on his own mission for justice.

THE 15.17 TO PARIS **
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars:Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone

A thriller in which three Americans discover a terrorist plot aboard a train while in France.

3 STOREYS **
Director: Arjun  Mukerjee
Stars: Richa Chadha,  Sharman Joshi, Pulkit Damrat

Over the course of three acts, dark secrets and past regrets are revealed, and it becomes clear that life in a small community is not quite what it seems

FIFTY SHADES FREED **
Director: James Foley
Stars: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Arielle Kebbel

Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian and Ana share a life of luxury. However, as she steps into her new role as Mrs Grey, he relaxes into an unfamiliar stability… and new threats could jeopardise their happy ending before it even begins.

PADMAAVATI ***
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Stars: Deepika Padukone, Anupriya Goenka, Ranveer Singh

Set in medieval Rajasthan, this Indian drama sees Queen Padmavati married to a noble king. They live in a prosperous fortress with their subjects until an ambitious Sultan hears of Padmavati’s beauty and forms an obsessive love for the Queen of Mewar.

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE ***
Director: Jake Kasdan
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart

Four teenagers discover an old video game console and are literally drawn into the game’s jungle setting, becoming the adult avatars they choose.

TAD THE LOST EXPLORER: SECRET OF KING MIDAS **
Director: David Alonso and Enrique Gayo
Stars: Oscar Barberan, Michelle Jenner

An animated movie centred on Tad Jones, the most awkward explorer, who must rescue his beloved Sara from a millionaire who is looking for King Midas’ necklace.

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Dave Starke, who pays tribute to the genius of the late Leonard Cohen.

NOW ON STAGE IN DURBAN AND SURROUNDS

DAVE STARKE: A TRIBUTE TO LEONARD COHEN
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof)

Dave Starke presents his acclaimed tribute to Leonard Cohen at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (March 16 and 17) and 2pm on Sunday (March 18). Written by Perran Hahndiek, the show is an exploration of the life and works of the late Leonard Cohen. It features his music and poetry interspersed with anecdotes from his life and other literary writings. Expect early hits such as Suzanne and So Long, Maryanne, the haunting Famous Blue Raincoat and Who By Fire?, as well as lighter works such as Tower of Song and items from Cohen’s final album, You Want It Darker?.  The show had it’s debut at The Rosebank Theatre in Cape Town where it was sold out for the duration of its run. Tickets cost R150 each. Book at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.

BLACK LAPELS: TRIBUTE TO CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
(Rhumbelow Theatre, St Cyprians Church Hall, Umbilo Road, Durban)

To be seen at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (March 16 and 17) and 2pm on Sunday (March 18), this is a fun show with Rob Warren, Garth Warren and Gareth Gale, together with guest guitarist Luke Wyngaard (aka Rusty Red). They entertain with hits including Bad Moon Rising, Hey Tonight, Have You Ever Seen the Rain?, Fortunate Son, Looking Out My Back Door, Down on the Corner, Up Around the Bend, Born on the Bayou and Green River. Tickets cost R150 each. Book at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.

THE REALS: POETRY IN MUSIC
(Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof)

The Reals band, with guest guitarist-singer Colin Peddie and vocalist Samantha Landers, present Poetry in Music at 8pm nightly from March 20 to 25. Featuring musical direction by Dawn Selby, the show features poetic music associated with John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, The Eagles, Indigo Girls, Mumford and Sons, Leonard Cohen and others.  Tickets cost R150 each. Seating is tables of six and tickets cost R150 each. Book at Computicket or phone Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636. (BS)

 

A BEAUTIFUL NOISE
(Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga)

Durban singers Marion Loudon and Andrew Webster are among the cast of this new show, which also features guitarist John Ellis (of Tree63), Andy Turrell on pedal-steel and second guitar, Anita Roscoe on violin, Dylan van der Linde on drums, Llewelyn Chetty on bass and the only musician not from Durban, Lifa Arosi, on keyboards. A tribute to iconic country, folk and acoustic rock artists, A Beautiful Noise will run until April 1. Expect songs associated with Ed Sheeran, Adele, Jason Mraz, The Lumineers, Neil Diamond, The Eagles, Crosby Stills and Nash, Rodriguez, Dolly Parton,  Creedence Clearwater Revival, Mumford and  Sons, Shania Twain and others. To book call (031) 161 0000. (BS)

Below are this week’s ads for KwaZulu-Natal from Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro and Suncoast CineCentre.


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